Dry leaves hide patches of brown grass
which crunches underfoot
Green pines tower above barren trees
against a bleak gray canvas
Fish are stirring in muddy waters
but refuse to bite
Freezers are full, the woods quiet
and guns are in the closet
Evening logs crackle in the hearth,
windows chilled by morning
The sun sheds coats by noon
but still sets too early
Tiny buds wait their time
Others burst in early color
Winter has worn thin
Summer is way too far
Patience is a virtue
This is spring-not-yet
I’ve been working in and around New Orleans for a few weeks now. I do twice a year. After a couple weeks the family came back with me last week. It’s a sort of working vacation. Money’s low, gas is high. Don’t know if there will be a real vacation this summer, but I don’t know that it could be anymore fun than this one.
In years past my trips to NOLA were limited to in and out, do what you came to do and go. I was always intimidated by big cities and far too judgemental in the past to enjoy the Big Easy. Not so anymore. I think I’ve finally managed to learn my way around including public transit. I feel accomplished, lol.
I’ve always been a student of people and places. There’s no greater classroom for that than this city. Having my family here has been a lot of fun. I’ll never forget the look of my four year-old sitting in the sunshine leaning on the window sill of a trolley on Canal Street taking it all in or my six year old asking a million questions on the Algiers Ferry. It’s been a blast.
For all the big box stores, fast food drive thrus and expressways we live with, it’s nice to come to a place that is unique unto itself and comfortable in it’s own two shoes, even if the soles are worn out. This is a melting pot of people like no other. Millionaires mingling with paupers and grit mixed with glitter. An out of the way trolley ride took us out of the tourist traps and our comfort zones. We saw the destruction and blight up close and personal. We also met people who had “salt in their character,” a lot of salt. They were good people.. helpful, friendly, and not so different than you and me.
The days have been blistering hot. The nights have been heavy and thick. The bourbon sweet. The smiles and laughs… unforgettable. For all, thru all, in spite of all.. I am thankful.
I would have never thought of mixing fresh fruit into a green salad until I tried this recipe this weekend at a rehearsal dinner. It’s a great cool, crisp, light salad for the summer. It’s very very easy and delicious.
Fruity Green Salad
- Chopped Lettuce
- Sliced Strawberries
- Pineapple Chunks
- Chopped Walnuts
- Balsamic Vinegar
Chop your lettuce, slice fresh strawberries, and drain a can of pineapple chunks (fresh sliced pineapple works best). Mix in the fruit and walnuts and toss with a little Balsamic Vingerette dressing to taste (less is more). Proportions are up to you, but it’s best with more lettuce and less fruit. It doesn’t take much fruit to give it a nice sweet kick.
The key to making it best is to only mix what you intend to eat for that meal. After sitting in the fridge even for the afternoon, the fruit juices and dressing will make the lettuce soggy. It’s not good without being crisp. I recommend keeping the ingredients separate, so you can toss a fresh salad whenever your ready. Enjoy!